Villanova University Recognizes Workers' Rights Group with Adela Dwyer-St. Thomas of Villanova Peace Award

The University’s Center for Peace and Justice Education will present the 2010 award to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) March 16

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2010

VILLANOVA, Pa., March 5, 2010 – Villanova University’s Center for Peace and Justice Education will present the 2010 Adela Dwyer-St. Thomas of Villanova Peace Award March 16 to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a community-based organization of mainly Latino, Mayan Indian and Haitian immigrants working in low-wage jobs throughout the state of Florida.

The Adela Dwyer-St. Thomas of Villanova Peace Award, established in 1990, recognizes an individual or group for outstanding contributions to the understanding of the meaning and conditions of justice and peace in human communities. The award will be presented March 16 at 4 p.m. in Bartley Hall 1011 on the Villanova University campus. Brigitte Gynther of Interfaith Action and Gerardo Reyes Chavez, a farmworker and member of the CIW, will accept on behalf of the group.

The CIW strives to build the strength of the community on a basis of reflection and analysis, constant attention to coalition-building across ethnic divisions and an ongoing investment in leadership development to help its members continually develop their skills in community education and organization.

“Commitment to the rights of workers is crucial for advancing human dignity in a just society, and historically the Roman Catholic tradition has made this a central theme in its social ethics,” said William Werpehowski, Ph.D., director of the Center for Peace and Justice Education.  “In keeping with that tradition, Villanova University and the Center for Peace and Justice Education are especially pleased to honor the CIW for its tireless and effective advocacy on behalf of farmworkers’ rights to a just wage, improved working conditions and an end to modern-day slavery in the fields.”

The University’s Center for Peace and Justice Education selects the award recipient from a list of candidates nominated by members of the Villanova University community. Past winners include Noam Chomsky; Daniel J. Berrigan, S.J.; Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J.; Project H.O.M.E.; Archbishop Desmond Tutu; and The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.

The Center for Peace and Justice Education is a member of the College of Arts and Sciences at Villanova. The program, open to all students in the University, offers an interdisciplinary approach to topics of world peace and social justice. The course of study provides students with an opportunity to study the rich tradition of Catholic social teaching as applied to the complex problems of our time.

Villanova University, a co-educational Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. A premier institution of higher education, Villanova provides a comprehensive education rooted in the liberal arts; a shared commitment to the Augustinian ideals of truth, unity and love; and a community dedicated to service to others. A wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered through the University’s four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova School of Law. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.